Raw day for a cow move

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Looks like a beautiful late October day in the north country. It was in the upper 70's here this last week. Supposed to be snow on the mountains tonight. Spring has sprung and fall has fell.....
 
Moved 200 mostly heifer pairs 3 miles closer to shipping pens today. Was right at freezing, a few flakes of snow going by on a stiff breeze. Still out 40ish pairs
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BRRR... not ready for it here yet. First frost on car yesterday morning, but not hard one. Week of mid 70's this week and no rain in forecast for another 10 days. Getting last of hay cut and will get made this week...3rd cutting... not alot of tonnage but very nice bladey orchard grass. Worked ground yesterday and will be putting last of cover crops. Looking like winter's coming there...
 
We also need to let a few go on a ride to the freezer. Had to feed to give the pastures a break, only one good rain since mid July. No rain in the forcast. Unwrapped the second bale last night. Upper 70s still. 80 the next few days.
 
We hit 73, and I raked the last 6 acres of sorghum-sudan.... got a field of mixed grass to rake tomorrow, and then the orchard grass... testing cows Wed and Thurs afternoons... and son is planning to mow again tomorrow...
 
Im going to change cow numbers in 2 weeks. But you probably have more cows missing than i own.
I think getting closer now, we have found 20 in last 2 days. First load of pea screening pellets arrived today. Barley coming Friday morning.
 
Most of our haying is done on rented ground, most places have both pastures and then hay ground...and the hay ground is across the road or something like that, where there are no fences or water... so if we don't hay it we have to bushhog it... so we hay it and feed it out. The sorghum-sudan across from my house is 12 acres m/l that is part of the total rental; with the rest being one of our winter pastures for cattle just down the road and behind my house across the dirt road at the corner. They like it to look nice, but luckily not fanatics about it... and we are putting it back in orchard grass this year. There is a market for the small sq bales of OG.... and if nothing else, if the weather is not good or something that prevents it from being made "right", we can always roll it and feed it to the cows.
Several places are in the "affluent" subdivisions... no fences, no water, and we get the places for nothing to make hay... if we don't do them, there are people in line wanting to do them and several we have had for years. Before we bought the one farm, we were short of pastures while growing the herd size, and making "free for the making" hay ground made it possible to increase the cows and bring the hay to them. And NO, the hay is NOT FREE... but there is no added costs of renting the ground on top of the cost of making it....
There is alot of development here, with several farms being broken up into 5-30 acre "mini estates" and they want the land mowed.... since 2 of these developments are former farms that we have helped make hay on before and are within 1-5 miles of the farm we bought from the widow of the friend who we helped for years, we know the ground and the amount of grass they will produce. it is a no brainer to make the hay and not have to transport it long distances.

I am tired of making hay, want to be done for the year.... but we have this week of really warm and nice weather to hopefully get it finished up, and I don't mind being on the tractor when it is 70 and the sun is warm but not sweltering. There are people wanting hay so we can sell some more, to help offset the costs a bit. The market for the small sq bales of this orchard grass is expanding with many people having a few sheep or goats or something and wanting the small squares... they don't have the size tractor to handle the round bales, and are more picky so want small square bales of better quality hay, they can store inside a barn/shed and feed out small amounts at a time. And alot of them are older like me, or have kids in 4-H or FFA, and want 50 lb size bales as most kids can lift and drag that size to "do their chores"....

The moderate to severe drought conditions, that we are have reached, and the even worse conditions just 20-100 miles north of us here, have people that will be looking for hay down the road. Especially if we get the "more severe winter" that all the forecasts are predicting. Already have the VDOT guys upping the preps for this winter... and we are trying to get as prepared for it as possible. Rather have too much hay than not enough. There is next to none available for sale anywhere in this area this year.
 
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